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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Bars, cantinas, and sports centers to re-open in Yucatán

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Mérida’s bars and cantinas will be allowed to operate once again, but only at 50% capacity. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

As Yucatán begins to lift more COVID-19 restrictions, life seems to slowly be returning to normal.

This week saw the reopening of several of Mérida’s largest athletic centers, including the Estadio General Salvador Alvarado, the Centro Paralímpico and the Gimnasio Polifuncional. 

The Estadio General Salvador Alvarado had been closed for repairs for approximately a year before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, so sports enthusiasts are relieved to finally see it reopen. Photo: Courtesy

However, state authorities noted that people visiting these sports centers must wear facemasks at all times and maintain social distancing protocols. 

It was also announced that bars and cantinas are now able to reopen, but only at 50% capacity. This much-anticipated news came on the heels of months of protests by bar owners and staff who felt that they were being unfairly targeted by authorities. 

Also making their return are elderly people bagging for tips at select grocery stores, who have been out of work since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Courtesy clerks or baggers are back to work at Soriana grocery stores. Photo: Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado

The tourism industry is also beginning to show signs of recovery. Today the coastal city of Progreso is expecting the return of the Carnival Breeze, a  cruise ship carrying 2,000 passengers. 

Earlier: The best breakfasts in Yucatán

While this number still falls short of the ship’s maximum capacity of over 4,000 passengers, it is still much higher than the ship’s first voyage to Yucatán since the outbreak of the pandemic, which carried only 300

Among other notable changes is the upcoming end of Yucatán’s vehicular mobility restrictions and the return of Serenades to Mérida’s Santa Lucia Square. 

Large-scale concerts and spectacles seem to still be off the table. As a result, the American rock band Guns N’ Roses was forced to cancel its upcoming concert scheduled for October but vowed to reschedule for 2022.

“The reopening of several of our state’s key industries has only been possible because of the successful implementation of the national vaccination strategy, but we must not let our guard down,” said Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal.

Yucatán coronavirus cases have totaled 67,759 since March 2020 and 5,793 deaths since April 2020, indicating an 87.5% recovery rate.

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